AuthorDavid Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

At Least I’m Almost a Genius

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I need to come up with one more word to be Genius level: overell, pevelon, renovel, lonovore? They should be words, but I know better. I’ve been working on the Spelling Bee in The New York Times Magazine since I picked up the paper from my driveway Sunday morning. I like games with simple rules: words at least five letters long that must include the middle letter. One point each word. Use all 7...

Side Effects

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I’d been warned to expect side effects from my second COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone I knew who’d gotten the second shot had felt punky with some combination of joint pain, low energy, headaches, fever, and nausea. I braced myself. Vaccine at noon on a Thursday. By bedtime I was congratulating myself for feeling great all day. Next morning: all good in the kingdom. I even agreed to meet a friend and...

“Private Life”

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I picked one off my Netflix queue last night: “Private Life.” Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) are a middle-aged couple struggling with infertility and desperate to have a child. Why so desperate, we’re not sure. They’ve tried everything as we quickly discover in a number of wry and painful scenes of crowded waiting rooms, specialist visits, drug injections, etc. Not...

Happy Birthday, Bob Klein

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(I published this post last year on my Dad’s birthday. I might run it every year.) That’s my dad and I riding bikes past the old casino in Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York, 1973. It was late March, the piles of snow melting in the background. I’m 14 years old, a high school freshman. My father is 46, married, the father of five, a rising marketing executive at a pharmaceutical...

Siblings Are My Blessing

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Every day is national something awareness day and I just found out today is Siblings Day. I’d have felt horrible if I hadn’t raised a glass (you know what I like) in love and gratitude. How lucky I am to have this crew on my side. Five of us separated by 6.5 years. What kind of insanity had hold of my parents? These bigger families, it’s a lot of lives to keep track of when...

Inter-State

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Make room please for one more anonymous submission to the genre of road trip movies and novels and musings that blazed before me, my quest a distant mirage, obstacles to cross, the road itself a character of quirks and demands, intent, driven, the vehicle a featured star, its wheels droning upon miles of pavement, painted lines, blurring past gray and rusted guardrails, the interstate slicing and...

A Little Story From a Long Time Ago

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Going through old files I found this story the kids and I wrote together years ago. I’ve recently encouraged parents to read to their young children, to tell each other stories, to use their imaginations. We sometimes worked on stories together, each contributing characters and plot lines. We put together a little collection of creepy tales. Here is one of our favorites, reprinted in its...

Hemingway

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I don’t watch much television, but last night I turned on the set. Between checking out Aaron Rodgers hosting Jeopardy and waiting for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final, I tuned into the Ken Burns documentary, “Hemingway,” a 3-part series that is airing on PBS. I thought I’d watch for a few minutes and ended up staying for two mesmerizing hours, missing a good chunk of the basketball game. The...

Bathroom Break

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They arrange to meet at the art festival, inside the park, near the willows. Arriving separately, for a second date stroll. When they reach the end of the exhibit she took a risk and asked if he wanted to keep walking, such a perfect day, and he did, past the fountains and the playing fields, and ending up here for drinks. As soon as they get to the restaurant she excuses herself. They’d gotten...

Let Me Be Crystal Clear

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Georgia’s corporate giants have found themselves in turbulent waters tacking against the winds and political pressure surrounding Georgia’s freshly-minted law, “Election Integrity Act of 2021.” Prior to the law being passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature and signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp, most big corporations didn’t have much to say. Two household-name...

Is That Story True?

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A question I’ve gotten a lot about my novels is a variation on “What parts are true?” This question irked me. I would retort with snappy answers: “None of it’s true, that’s why it’s called fiction.” Or: “It’s all true! I’m incapable of imagination.” Or: “Whatever part you believe is true.” I was bothered because asking about what’s true in a novel takes attention away from the work and places it...

Social Interactions on the Agenda Again

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The New York Times article, “Start Retraining for Social Interactions,” got off to a good start. The writer caught my attention early with “the prospect of readjusting to in-person social engagements may be a daunting one. For many, it provokes a sense of profound discomfort, apprehension or ambivalence.” I might have a touch of that. I’m accustomed to being at home, just Harriet and me, or...

Parents: Read to Your Kids

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If you want to point out the mistakes I’ve made as a parent, get in line, because there are a lot of people ahead of you. How many times did I say the stupid thing, enact the wrong rules, make the wrong decision? The ledger is long. But one thing Harriet and I got right was passing down to our kids a love—a need—of reading. They’re both in college now (something that a passion for reading makes a...

7 Thoughts on Listicles

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1. A listicle is a short form of writing hugely popular on the web that uses a numbered list as its structure but contains enough copy to also be an article. I can’t tell you how many listicles I’ve written for clients over the years. Some have been substantial, but a lot of them I could have written with one hand. 2. Listicle is a portmanteau—a word made from combining two other words, in this...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

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